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Chuck Pagano returns to Colts, tears up describing wife’s support


Chuck Pagano returned to his job coaching the Indianapolis Colts today after spending most of the season undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia, but at his first press conference back on the job, he didn’t begin by talking about football. Instead, Pagano began by talking about his wife.

“The happiest day of my life was July 1, 1989 — that’s when I got married to my wife, Tina,” Pagano said, turning to his wife. “I want to thank you. She’s a soldier, a warrior, my soulmate. . . . You can’t get through this without somebody as strong and as loving, and I thank you, Tina. . . . She never left my side except to go home and do some laundry every morning that we were there. We were there 25 days and you got me through. And I thank you.”

Pagano praised Colts owner Jim Irsay for his support and said he was blown away by how well Bruce Arians has run the team as the interim head coach in Pagano’s absence. Now, Pagano says, he’s delighted to be coaching the Colts in Sunday’s regular-season finale and into the playoffs.

“I told you the happiest day of my life was July 1, 1989? Today was No. 2,” Pagano said.

Perhaps the Colts can win a playoff game in two weeks, which might just be the third-best day of Pagano’s life.

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22 Responses to “Chuck Pagano returns to Colts, tears up describing wife’s support”
  1. hooterdawg says: Dec 24, 2012 12:44 PM

    It will be a shame if the return of Pagano is greeted with a first round playoff loss by the Colts. I don’t think switching horses prior to the playoffs is a good strategic move. I fail to understand the move when his presence alone on the sideline is inspirational to the team.

  2. dioalice says: Dec 24, 2012 12:46 PM

    Happy for Coach Pagano. And, of course, cheers to Bruce Arians and the entire Colts organization for going out there and taking care of business for three months. It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective.

  3. greenbayraven says: Dec 24, 2012 12:51 PM

    awesome story, love it. heres to hoping the ravens get the three seed and a rematch with the bengals. Colts vs Ravens AFC championship sounds good to me.

  4. skoobyfl says: Dec 24, 2012 12:54 PM

    This is a Christmas miracle, God Bless him & his family.

  5. Nofoolnodrool says: Dec 24, 2012 12:55 PM

    greenbayraven | Dec 24, 2012, 12:51 PM EST
    awesome story, love it. heres to hoping the ravens get the three seed and a rematch with the bengals. Colts vs Ravens AFC championship sounds good to me.

    I can see the Colts making it……

  6. stevepea says: Dec 24, 2012 1:02 PM

    Ravens fan here.
    Nice to see Coach Pagano back and good luck in the playoffs.
    Also nice to see three of the six AFC playoff teams represented by Ravens coaches.

  7. denverhighrize says: Dec 24, 2012 1:06 PM

    Congratulations to Pagano! That being said the Colts have a great thing going and his return could disrupt their rythm. Keep Bruce Arians coaching and next year bring Pagano back is my hope.

  8. ambitoos says: Dec 24, 2012 1:13 PM

    I think this is a very close family. John Pagano of the Chargers tears up when he talkes about his brother.

  9. petecarrolmorelikecheatpayroll says: Dec 24, 2012 1:14 PM

    All the best to Chuck Pagano and his family moving forward.


    Packer Nation

  10. myroncopesflask says: Dec 24, 2012 1:16 PM

    Bruce Arians coach of the year!

  11. commonsensedude says: Dec 24, 2012 1:19 PM

    Regardless of what happens in the playoffs, Pagano has the most rewarding accomplishment most men ever endeavor to achieve – a great marriage and an awesome wife. Thanks for sharing this story!

  12. steelers4385 says: Dec 24, 2012 1:38 PM

    Luck is way better than rg3. Why would anyone question that? Way less talent on that team than redskins. And from where they were last year to now…its amazing. Rg3 will whind up like vick because you cant keep running around and running that stupid offense they run. Rg3 has a cannon and has surprised me with great accuracy. I hope he learns to play NFL quarterback and not college. There is a reason guys like brady and the mannings win superbowls. They learn defenses and know what to call instead of having to resort to scrambling. It only works for so long. Best of luck to both of them though. Well deserved to.

  13. Nofoolnodrool says: Dec 24, 2012 1:41 PM

    As a cancer survivor myself I understand what this means to him and his wife. I wish him the best and many more years to come. Make my year start right by beating those sorry ravens if get a chance.

  14. steelernationisthepinnacleofexistenceyouarenothing says: Dec 24, 2012 1:45 PM

    It’s because of Bruce Arians that the Colts have succeeded this year. Arians learned from the best organization the sport offers, and it shows.

  15. nunezmc says: Dec 24, 2012 1:52 PM

    The true beauty of this story has nothing to do with the Colts’ success, but damn… Beating the Texans sure would make it a hell of a lot better…

  16. jjbadd385 says: Dec 24, 2012 2:06 PM

    May God continue to be with Coach Pagano & his family. I’m certainly glad to see that through this tragedy, he didn’t lose sight of what means the most to him, his family. What a heartwarming story & an inspiration. Best Wishes— Bronco Nation

  17. takingbacksundays5 says: Dec 24, 2012 2:14 PM

    Behind every great man, is an even greater woman.

    Cheers and best wishes to Chuck Pagano and the Colts.

  18. ddogdaddy says: Dec 24, 2012 3:03 PM

    For those who fail to understand the logic of going back to Coach P. How about because he is the Head Coach. This is his team, his players, his plays and his assistant coaches. B.A. did a superb job filling in while Coach was sick. Now B.A. can get back to doing what he does best, run the offense. It can only be a positive move for this truely remarkable season. Go Blue.

  19. jimmysee says: Dec 24, 2012 5:07 PM

    Speaking as one who has gone through chemo (and radiation) — I say welcome to the club and welcome back!

    Bless you and hope your holidays are great!

  20. tones71 says: Dec 24, 2012 5:12 PM

    Coach Pagano and the Colts are having a miraculous season.

  21. emmac13 says: Dec 24, 2012 5:22 PM

    Awesome to watch him earlier on TV. He is truely an inspiration. But how many teams on Black Monday will be considering Bruce Arians?

  22. patsfan13 says: Dec 25, 2012 8:27 PM

    Go Colts, beat the Texans. The Patriots will appreciate it.

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